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Bar owner to pay £10k in fines and costs after breaching noise abatement notice

A bar and restaurant proprietor in Gosport who repeatedly breached a noise abatement notice has been ordered to pay more than £10,000 in fines and costs.

Ben Bartrip, of the Victualler in Royal Clarence Yard, was served with the notice by Gosport Borough Council in June 2017 following complaints from nearby residents over the previous six months. 

The notice was served after an environmental health officer visited a nearby house at 8.50pm on 10 June, in response to a complaint about a band playing outside.

“With the resident's doors and windows shut, song lyrics could be heard. The window panes were vibrating,” the council said.

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A number of incidents occurred after service of the notice:

  • On 26 August 2017 a singer with a guitar was performing in a marquee outside the bar. An officer visiting in response to a complaint could make out the words of the songs above the resident’s TV.
  • On 27 August, just after 9pm, an officer visited a nearby block of flats in response to a complaint, and could hear the bass from a live band reverberating through the building.
  • After midnight on 1 October, an officer visited a neighbour who had complained about a disco outside the premises.
  • On 4 November, after another complaint, an officer visited a nearby block of flats and could hear constant thudding and bass from the bar below. “He described it as like being backstage at a gig.”

Bartrip, 42, of Weevil Lane, Gosport, denied four breaches of a noise abatement notice. However, he was found guilty of all of them after a trial at Portsmouth Magistrates Court this week. 

He was told to pay £4,000 in fines, £6,027 in prosecution costs and a victim surcharge of £100.

Cllr Mark Hook, Leader of Gosport, said: "The council prefers to work with businesses rather than take legal action. 

"But we have to protect the historic buildings of Gosport, and we have to protect residents whose lives are affected by excessive noise.”

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